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CD Review

Fritz Reiner Collection

Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner
Richard Mohr, producer - John Pfeiffer, reissue producer
RCA Gold Seal 0926-61793-2 ADD 69:17
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These 1957-60 recordings typify RCA Victor's high sonic standards of that era, and sound better then ever in their first CD incarnation. The prize here is one of the finest Brahms Thirds on record, a surging and passionate, yet aristocratically controlled reading, replete with gorgeous first desk solo playing and impeccably dovetailed section work. Reiner's conception, marred only by a lack of the important first movement repeat, is characterized by great rhythmic freedom that never loses sight of Brahms' formal contours. Similarly, the Hebrides overture boasts fire and drama within a disciplined framework. Some may feel the outer movements of the Schubert to be a shade fast and regimented in contrast to Beecham's more genial approach. Altogether a worthy reissue, with excellent notes from Reiner biographer Philip Hart.

Copyright © 1994, 1996, Jed Distler